Sunday, February 13, 2011


 I heard about the National Abilympics Art competition from one of the committee members of the MCR ( Malaysian Council for Rehabilitation) and being an ardent  gardening enthusiast, the theme  Flowers and Passion  was  an extra draw to witness it. MCR has 21 affiliated members - organisations  representing  different kinds of disabilities eg. autism, deaf,  In 1981 the Abilympics was founded in Tokyo to coincide with the International Year of the Disabled Persons under  the UN to bring into focus  the awareness of the disabled in  society and the need to integrate them side by side with the general population.

The competition was already underway when I arrived at the National Art Gallery. Individuals from different organisations  were at work, most of them engrossed in their drawings.  I casually strolled by not wanting to distract them. All sorts of colours of the palette were there - some muted and soft, others were bold and vibrant. Behind the on -going activity, I could sense the spirit of these artists in their art. It is what they know best and it is their outlet for expression .

Among the artists were a couple of  the foot and mouth artists. I doubt anyone just walks by without stopping to admire their sheer dexterity to etch and paint . It is a labour of love and patience.

Painstaking work

Finished work by  one of the foot and mouth artists

Deft strokes

This event  opens  a visitor's eyes to a new world of  many untapped talents. It is about empowering  the  skills of this disadvantaged sector of society and creating opportunities for them  and enhancing their self esteem. Whatever their disabilities, watching them, it's timely to take the 'dis' out of 'disability'.  These individuals win hearts and souls with their innermost expressions through art.

The  overall winner  gets to  represent Malaysia  in Seoul in September where  an international group will compete there. But surely there are no losers in this competition. There  never was even before the start of this competition though judging has to take place. I couldn't stay  till the results were announced. But being witness to art which speaks from their hearts, it touches anyone.

Flowers and Passion  theme brings to mind a quote I love by Lady Bird Johnson : 'Where flowers bloom, so does  hope'.  Indeed there is much to hope for. This event focuses on ability and human dignity. Perhaps some will be self-sufficient. We can all help in little ways or more.

My vibrant world

Colourful and lively

A happy day for the dragon fly

Flowers  flourish in my garden, my world

A study in still life

Art it is!  

Flowers to serenade you?

Strong lines , bold capture

Hibiscuses  galore

Interesting  compostion  in progress

In muted tones


  1. Wonderful, colourful paintings. I love each and every one of them. Some remind me of colours of Van Gogh's.

  2. Very talented souls they seem to be!

  3. Art it is!
    How talented artists, beautiful works...

  4. I appreciate art and used to paint using watercolour as a hobby.Im amazed by the work of foot and mouth artists, Ive seen their paintings made into greeting cards. Those young painters shown here were a very talented lot judging from their artwork.

  5. Beautiful. They are talented. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. It just goes to show how accomplishment is from your heart! Very talented!

  7. This IS an empowering event. Such great art and hope!

  8. It's unbelievable what great art work people can achieve with their mouths and feet.
    I'm able-bodied and can't paint like those top two.

  9. Amazing work, so inspiring! The colors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing the work of these talented young people.

  10. Very beatiful art from these lovely people.

  11. Hello!
    Very cute post!
    Thank You very much for this post!

  12. Awesome great painters. tQ

    Happy Valentine's Day

  13. I love that quote, Keats. May hope continue to bloom for these determined, talented and inspiring individuals. I wish there were more publicity for such events. Public support and funding is always important to ensure that we can continue to hold such competitions.

  14. Their artwork are incredible, and the talents are definitely there..Beautiful!

  15. The beautiful present that you can give is your presence. Exist to visit is a gift. Lovely.

  16. Beautiful images! loved the first one

  17. Hi Keats! It's a fabulous post of a great initiative! Wonderful shots!!

    Keen on modern art? Blogtrotter Two has it... Enjoy and have a great weekend. Hopefully sunny!!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this, Keats! Once again, I've learnt something new from visiting your blog.

    Have a nice day!

  19. This is beautiful Keats and I will show it to my 3 kids so they know how talented these people are. Hope you are off to a good week ;)


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